WWDC 2007 flashback: Leopard, Safari for Windows, web apps for iPhone

As we head towards WWDC 2014 we thought it would be fun to look back at Apple World Wide Developer Conferences past, what they introduced, and what impact they made. We're starting with WWDC 2007, not only because there are 7 days left before WWDC 2014 kicks off, but because WWDC 2007 was the first to feature both OS X and iOS, and nothing has been the same since, not for Apple or for developers.

WWDC 2007 was held in its usual home at Moscone Center West in San Francisco, California. It kicked off on Monday, June 11, at 10am PDT with a Steve Jobs keynote — the first since Apple previewed the original iPhone at Macworld some 6 months earlier. To say all eyes were on that state would be a profound understatement. The iPhone wasn't yet on the market and hadn't yet transformed the mobile industry, but its impact was already undeniable.

First up, Apple showed of OS X 10.5 Leopard. It would launch until later that fall — every resource possible at Apple was fixed on getting the iPhone out the door — but we did get to see a new Dock design complete with Stacks functionality, the translucent menu bar, Cover Flow in Finder, and Time Machine, which hoped to make backups effortless for the mainstream. There was also a new Automator, Back to My Mac to access your machines remotely, Quick Look, Spaces for virtual desktops, and more. What there wasn't was Classic Mode. It went the way of the dodo.

Safari, the browser for OS X and the iPhone got ported to Windows. It was probably more about getting WebKit onto Windows for use in iTunes and providing a way for Windows users to test web 2.0 apps on that rendering engine, and it didn't last long, but in that moment Apple doubled their cross-platform presence.

And then there were web apps, Apple's "sweet" developer solution. That it had been grueling, crushing work to get the iPhone to market, that no one at Apple had the time much less the energy to get an SDK done for OS 1.0, was the reality. But the demand was such that Apple simply couldn't ignore it. Unfortunately, web apps just wouldn't be enough and by the end of the year, Apple's iOS team would once again go through a marathon of sprints to get a native solution in place for the next spring.

Since Leopard wouldn't ship until much later, Safari for Windows wouldn't get very far, and web apps were quickly replaced with native apps, WWDC 2007 was more touch point than transformation. But it was Steve Jobs on the post-iPhone keynote stage, and that was something.

Give it a watch and let me know — what do you think of WWDC 2007 and what, if anything, does it make you hope for at WWDC 2014?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 4 comments. Add yours.

tommyreyes says:

I felt this WWDC keynote was kind of a letdown back then in 2007. Speaking for myself of course, I remember expecting a little too much from Apple post-Macworld 2007, and was waiting with baited breath to hear about a SDK get released for the iPhone and when Web Apps were announced, all I could say was "Eh."

AustinSJ says:

Also worth checking out WWDC 2004:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQm7Xr9jY0w

Now try to imagine WWDC 2024.

iSRS says:

Yes, it did seem like a big down note, but look at all it introduced to us, that paved a foundation for, at least, the next 7 years of OS X:

"a new Dock design complete with Stacks functionality, the translucent menu bar, Cover Flow in Finder, and Time Machine, which hoped to make backups effortless for the mainstream. There was also a new Automator, Back to My Mac to access your machines remotely, Quick Look, Spaces for virtual desktops, and more. What there wasn't was Classic Mode"

That was a huge roadmap to Mavericks. And likely, beyond.

Sent from the iMore App

Marc Plus says:

Let's not forget that Stacks were completely revamped in a 10.5.x update after many complaints that it was not a good replacement to putting a folder in the Dock (a functionality that was removed from 10.5.0). An example of Apple backtracking an interface change after complaints without us having to wait for the next major update (like some of the stuff they fixed in iOS 7.1).